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phonetic speller


Full Member
I have a student in my class who passes all the spelling tests, but cannot carry any of the words over into daily work. Half the time, when you go back to edit his writing with him...he cannot even figure out what he has worte. Anyone have ideas of what can be done to make this student more successful?


i have this problem a lot in my class. I have a word wall, and children are expected to spell the words correctly and check "the dictionary on the wall." I also sometimes circle the misspelled words in pencil and have them fix them. Often they know how to spell the word right and when you point it out to them, they realize the mistake. I also have personal dictionaries, and we use those a lot(they have high frequency words, plus I write in additional words..I also encourage them to write the word wall words they need into the dictionaries themselves). I also ask the kids to read me their work, and they usually can tell you what word they tried to spell...I don't sit their saying, this word is unrecognizable, I just say "can you read me this sentence?" there are some kids who know they have misspelled words.....they just need some kind of resource to help them spell it right.


Senior Member
That's the problem--Monday list Friday test..

That's why the old give them the words Monday and test them on Friday method doesn't work. They forget them by Monday and don't transfer the memorized list into written work, unless they happen to be gifted spellers in the first place.

Pick up Month by Month Phonics, get yourself the word wall that goes with it and hold kids accountable for the Word Wall words every time they spell them--not just sometimes. The words are the words they use in most of their writing and that they MUST know. You'll see great results, not on Fridays, but every day. You introduce 14 of 110 words each month, gradually adding them to the WW. Kids use the words all month, then all year. Read about it, you'll have an "ahhhhaaaaa".

Visit, http://www.cherylsigmon.com/faq_wb.aspWhy don't 4-Blocks teachers send home traditional lists of spelling words?

Cheryl Sigmon answers the same question you asked:

"Because having students memorize long lists of spelling words wasn't getting us where we wanted to go! Personally, my students always memorized the lists of words, aced the test on Friday, and then returned to school on Monday to misspell the same words again! What was happening was that students were memorizing the words and storing them in their short-term memories. After the test, the words were tossed from short-term memory banks. In Four Blocks, we've decided that it's far more important to teach students HOW to spell than to teach them WHAT to spell. We'd rather teach them a word chunk and how to make their knowledge of the spelling pattern of that chunk or the meaning of that chunk work for them. If you can spell best and you recognize that it has the est rime pattern, then you don't have to memorize vest, crest, test, rest, zest, etc. when you need one of those words."